November 8, 2008

Bobcat Women Fifth, Men Ninth at NCAA Cross Country Regional

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WINGATE, N.C. - The Georgia College & State University cross country teams ran at the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championship at Wingate University today (Nov. 8) with the Bobcat women taking a school-best fifth, and the men improving to a ninth-place finish.

The women took fifth of the 22 teams, improving 10 spots over last year's finish. The Bobcats had 194 points, falling just 17 behind Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Champions Columbus State University.

Georgia College had two runners in the top-30, as junior Heather Raines (Lawrenceville, Ga.)was 26th (25:16) and classmate Bonnie Ueltzen(Blairsville, Ga.) 28th (25:21).

Coming in 52nd was junior Virginia Balkcom(Fayetteville, Ga.), crossing the line in 26:06. Freshmen took the next two spots, as Victoria Dobson (New Hamburg, Ontario) was 59th (26:15) and Sarah Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) 63rd in 26:19, just 13 seconds behind her sister.

Lees-McRae College won the team title, with PBC rival Augusta State University making it to the National Championship by taking runner-up honors. Lenoir-Rhyne College was third. PBC foe Clayton State University took the individual champion honors, as Allison Kreutzer broke the tape in the 6k race at 22:24.

The Bobcat men took ninth, two spots better than a year ago, and had 259 points. They were third among PBC schools.

Freshman Rob Manning (Lawrenceville, Ga.)snapped the school record in the 10k, finishing 18th in 33:56, just three spots out of All-Region honors. Manning edged teammate Josh Hollar's (Canton, Ga.) record by 16 seconds, a mark he set at this meet a year ago.

Freshman Colin Conroy (Dacula, Ga.) was second, finishing 44th in 35:16, while Hollar came in 47th (35:26). Conroy's time is the ninth-best in program history, while Hollar's ranks 10th.

Sophomore Tim Cary (Monroe, Ga.) proved solid again, finishing in 36:37 for 72nd. Classmate Erik Ottoson (Suwanee, Ga.) was 90th in 37:46.

Queens College (N.C.) won the team race, with Columbus State taking runners-up and moving on to the National Championship in Slippery Rock, Pa. Taking the individual title was Oscar Ogwaro from Queens, finishing in 30:54.

The race ends another great season for the Bobcat harriers, one that saw both squads battle through injuries to key runners and still remain one of the top teams in the PBC. Georgia College also opened its brand-new West Campus Cross Country Course, a beautiful venue that will provide excellent races for years to come.